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Old Testament Essays

versión On-line ISSN 2312-3621
versión impresa ISSN 1010-9919

Old testam. essays vol.21 no.2 Pretoria  2008


The witch in Psalm 59: An Afro-centric interpretation



Z. Kotzé

University of South Africa





In the traditional western interpretation it has been argued that the enemy in the individual lament of Psalm 59 is no more than an unbeliever and a traitor. However, an afro-centric interpretation of the Psalm reveals that this adversary shares various traits with the contemporary African witch. The Psalm contains magical formulas and a counter-curse that is comparable to traditional African ways of dealing with the problem of witchcraft. It is argued that this content makes the Psalm an ideal protective text that can be added to the list of Psalms already used by African churches for protection against magical assaults.



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Z. Kotzé
Department of Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern Studies
University of South Africa, P.O. Box 362, Pretoria, 0003

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